California is one of only a few states in the country that is a community property state. Community property laws become relevant when dividing property and debts in a divorce. To understand how community property laws apply to your situation, you should contact a Pleasanton divorce and family law attorney.
What is community property?
In California, any property that is acquired during marriage is considered community property. This means that each spouse has a marital interest in the property, regardless of whose name is on the title. When property is considered to be community property, then it is subject to division in a divorce.
Not all property is considered to be community property. This property is referred to as separate property. In a divorce, a person keeps their separate property free and clear from any claim of their spouse. Property is deemed as separate property in the following situations:
- Property owned prior to marriage
- Property received as a gift (regardless of whether it was received during the marriage)
- Property inherited
- Property subject to the terms of a legal prenuptial agreement
In some situations, separate property may become community property in whole or in part. This can occur when you commingle community property with separate property, when you add your spouse’s name to title, or when community assets are used to enhance the value of separate property.
When parties divorce, the community property and debts will generally be divided equally. Each party will keep their separate property.
What happens in a divorce?
Divorce is the process in which a marriage is terminated. Divorce will also determine how property/debts are to be divided and whether one spouse will be required to pay alimony to the other. If the parties have children, then a divorce will also determine issues related to child custody and child support.
The divorce process is started by filing a petition or complaint with the court. This will set forth the proposal regarding the divorce. The other spouse must be served and provided with an opportunity to respond to the request. If the parties are in agreement or if the other spouse does not contest the divorce, then the court enters a final judgment. If the parties do not agree, then the case will proceed through the court.
While the case is pending, there may be various court hearings held to address preliminary matters and issues that arise while the case is pending. The parties will exchange information and attempt resolution. If the parties cannot reach a resolution, then the case will proceed to trial, where a judge will make the final decision.
Why should you hire an attorney?
A Pleasanton family law attorney can provide legal advice and representation to assist with divorce and community property questions. Pleasanton divorce lawyers will help you understand how the law applies to your situation, which will help you know what to expect.
A Pleasanton divorce lawyer can prepare the necessary documentation to pursue and finalize the divorce. Pleasanton CA family law attorneys will advocate on your behalf for a fair result. We will pursue whatever action is necessary to achieve a final result in an efficient manner.
When choosing a divorce attorney in Pleasanton, CA, it is important to seek out someone who is experienced and willing to protect your interests. The attorneys at The Tierney Law Group are experienced and understand what it takes to successfully advocate for our clients. We are available to answer your questions and provide quality legal experience.
If you are going through a divorce or simply have questions about the process, contact The Tierney Law Group to schedule a consultation appointment.